Once you have researched, ordered the ideas, created an outline and written the text, the best thing you can do to polish it is to forget about it.
If you are in a hurry, organize yourself so you can wait at least two days before doing the review, or have someone else’s help. Ideally, you should always edit a text when you it seems almost brand new to your eyes.
Are you ready? Let’s analyze what you wrote at different levels
1. Starting with the structure, you should check out that:
- It has an attractive title that anticipates the content.
- In the first lines it summarizes the main concept and activates curiosity.
- It is very clear and has no friction.
- The ideas are neat and the speech flows very well spun.
- You don’t explain the same question more than once, but if the text is long you can make a final summary.
2. Then look at the sentences:
- Reduce phrases of more than 200 characters.
- Read it out loud and polish the rough edges.
- Boost the narrative rhythm by mixing long and short sentences.
- Make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes.
3. And check out the words:
- Avoid abstract words
- Use synonyms
- Choose simple and concrete words that can be easily understood
- Reduce exclamations and emphatic elements such as “very”, “awesome” or “the best”
- Reduce the use of empty adjectives and increase action verbs
Now it’s time for the hardest part, separate grain from husks and straw
There are several techniques for doing this with similar results. It is about leaving the main ideas well crafted and release the text of all the words that do not provide rhythm, beauty or meaning.
When you read it out loud it should be so smooth that every word gives you the wish to read the next one until the end of the text. Joseph Sugarman calls this effect the slippery slide and I like the image of going through the text like in a neverending slippery slide.
Every single word in a text occupies a space and there should be a reason for that. Nothing is left just in case, nothing is missing.
One technique that I like is trying to leave as few words as possible to give a crystal clear. Then if necessary, add some rhythm, humor or beauty.
Any doubt? I answer in the comments